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Friday, March 7, 2014

Bill Self says Andrew Wiggins Big 12’s best

Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins, who most likely will enter the NBA Draft waves to the fieldhouse prior to the senior speeches on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins, who most likely will enter the NBA Draft waves to the fieldhouse prior to the senior speeches on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins, who most likely will enter the NBA Draft waves to the fieldhouse prior to the senior speeches on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self hopes freshman Andrew Wiggins will be named 2014 Big 12 Conference Player of the Year when the league reveals its annual award winners Sunday.

“I don’t think there’s a clear-cut guy,” Self said, beginning a discussion on which individual player deserves the league’s top honor.

“You can make a case for (Iowa State’s DeAndre) Kane. You can make a case for (ISU’s Melvin) Ejim. If you do that, you have two guys you make a case for Big 12 player of the year that haven’t had the same (team) success we’ve had.”

KU has a three-game lead over Oklahoma and Texas in the league race with one remaining. Iowa State is four back.

“To me, with our team 14-3 and the next best team 11-6, to me it’s almost a logical no-brainer,” Self added of Wiggins netting the award. “I don’t believe his numbers blow anybody away. That’s not who he is. To be the best player on a team that’s had quite a bit of success in the league, I’d have a hard time going in any other direction, not that other players can’t play as well.

“If there’s no clear-cut choice, I really think the best player on the best team ... certainly that’s the case with him,” Self added.

Wiggins is 10th overall in the Big 12 in scoring (16.0 ppg) and 18th in rebounding (5.8 rpg). ISU’s Ejim leads the league in scoring at 18.4 ppg and is second in rebounding at 8.6 rpg. ISU’s Kane is seventh in scoring at 16.7 ppg and 11th in rebounding at 6.7 rpg.

“I don’t think his mind-set has ever been to be a scorer, but his mind-set is to fit in,” Self said of Wiggins. “To me, being aggressive enough to score that much when defenses would be designed to shut him down, I thought, would be hard to do. It hasn’t been.”

A good example of Wiggins not trying to pad his stats would be Wednesday’s 82-57 rout of Texas Tech. Wiggins had nine points in 23 minutes.

“His whole mind-set is, ‘Hey, we’re fine. We’re winning big. It doesn’t make any difference,’” Self said. “A lot of times guys make postseason honors and things like that because they put up numbers in games that don’t matter, because it helps their season stats. In a situation like this when the game was in hand, it doesn’t matter to Andrew. I think that’s one thing that’s really cool about him.”

Self said, “He scores more than I thought he would. He’s averaging a little over 16 a game. I thought he’d be a guy would labor getting 16 a game. He gets 16 a game pretty easily. A lot of things from a stats standpoint I thought he’d have to improve in a lot of areas to get there. It’s not been hard for him to get there. He’s been pretty consistent.”

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KU Athletics/adidas

Kansas University and adidas unveiled new Made in March uniforms for the men's basketball team on Thursday.

Uniforms: KU’s basketball team and adidas revealed the “Made in March Uniform System” for the 2014 postseason Thursday. According to the press release, “Made in March Uniforms feature a functional perforated print pattern along the leg of the stretch woven short to enhance breathability and ventilation, keeping players cool as the clock winds down. adidas’ quick-drying jersey technology, found in current NBA uniforms, along with ClimaCool zones on the chest, back and side, move heat and moisture away from the body to keep the jersey light and dry during competition. To spark team unity and pride, Made in March uniforms feature the school’s Rock Chalk rally cry on the inside collar of each jersey.”

The Jayhawks likely will wear the new uniforms one or more times in the Big 12 postseason tournament. To see a picture of the jerseys go to the web address http://bit.ly/1ceONoC

Tweets: Joel Embiid’s Twitter post on Senior Night: “Amazing night for the seniors...Can’t wait to be a senior. Too bad I didn’t play but they took care of business.”

Recruit Myles Turner’s Twitter post on Senior Night: “GREAT NIGHT IN THE PHOG!”

Cliff honored: KU signee Cliff Alexander has been named the Chicago Sun Times player of the year. The 6-foot-9 center from Chicago Curie High is Rivals.com’s No. 4-ranked player nationally.

Comments

Ben Schwartz 5 months, 3 weeks ago

DONT TEASE US JOEL.

But in all seriousness, I hope he sticks around a year to refine his skills and just to enjoy the moment in this part of his life.

I can't get a read on Selden's lean, but I think he could definitely improve his stock by staying and not being overshadowed by the publicity around Wiggins. Can't help but think he will have more opportunities to step up as a scorer on next year's hypothetical team, but who knows considering the talent we are likely to have inside and the wildcard that is Oubre. I think Biid or Selden coming back certainly improves the chances of the other staying as well.

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Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Embiid realizes his potential and wants to be more than just an NBA player. He wants to be a great NBA player. I think Embiid comes back to work on his game and his strength so that he is ready to contribute right away once he gets to the NBA. All time greats don't come in and get pushed around for a year or two, which is what would happen to Embiid if he left after this year. He isn't physically strong enough to handle NBA bodies night after night. He broke down after facing just a few in Big 12 play. I fully expect him to come back for another season.

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Ian Emerson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Agreed. I say he comes back, puts about 30 pounds on and will be in much better shape to come in and contribute.

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Jonathan Allison 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I think that Selden wants to go, but ultimately he'll wait till after the season is over, gauge his draft stock, consult with Bill Self and make the best decision.

If he is locked into the mid first-round with a decent shot to go in the late lottery, then he'll likely be gone. In a lot of ways, he's more NBA ready that Wiggins and Embiid. He seems to have a lot of maturity, and also an NBA ready physique. His game is fairly well refined, just needs some fine-tuning. Wiggins and Embiid both have some refining left to do with their skills.

I think that NBA types would see Selden as closer to his ceiling than Wiggins and Embiid. He could improve his stock as the featured perimeter player in our offense next season and he can improve his game on the defensive side, however if he's a 14-20 pick this season, then he has to figure that returning for a second season he'd be targeting to move up to the 10-15 range. If that's the case then there's a lot to weigh on both sides, and he'll have a tough call.

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Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I think Selden SHOULD return and would benefit his draft stock greatly by returning. He would be the primary perimeter scorer on next year's team with Wiggins gone and a year in the system under his belt. I expect a nice jump in his development over the offseason and a continued increase in the aggressiveness he has shown recently. He had way too many disappearing acts over the early portion of the season.

With plenty of room for his draft status to rise and no one lurking behind him to siphon off his minutes, Selden would benefit a great deal from another year at Kansas.

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Terrence Cernech 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Selden is probably my fav on this team with Embiid and Wiggins at 1a and 1b, not much difference but I really like Wayne's approach. If he stayed another year, it would be interesting to see him develop an isolated backdown game similar to that which made Adrian Dantley, a HOFP. Get the ball on the wing and back down the defender with his body and a controlled dribble; ready to pass out of a double team but control the action on the court. Eventually teams would have to double team him and that should open up the floor for the offense. It would be fun.

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Ian Emerson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Thats a really good player comparison Terrence. I think if Selden was to stay it would be the difference between him going in the 20-30 range this year and next year going 5-10. Him coming back would also make us a much more complete team next year.

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Jonathan Allison 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I know that it's possible that Embiid could return, and much more likely probably than any other projected #1 draft pick of the OAD era, but I am counting his as gone.

I can't see the consensus #1 draft pick returning to amatuer athletics.

I know that he's weighing whether or not he is ready and looking at all different angles of his skill set, his strength and conditioning, how he fits into our society, his preparedness from a personal management standpoint, etc... But I just think that when all is said and done, there's no more games left to play, and he has to make a decision, that he'll decide that he's close enough to being ready that he can close those gaps with his own resources (which he will have plenty of resources as the #1 pick).

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Jeff Kilgore 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Joe, as much as I would like to believe this . . .

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Jonathan Allison 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Bill Self is lobbying really hard for Wiggins to win that award.

"I thought he’d be a guy would labor getting 16 a game. He gets 16 a game pretty easily. A lot of things from a stats standpoint I thought he’d have to improve in a lot of areas to get there. It’s not been hard for him to get there. He’s been pretty consistent."

I'll give him that Wiggins has been fairly consistent. But apparently everyone except for Self though that the stats would come easy for Wiggins.

I agree with Self that there's no clear cut POY in the league, but I don't necessarily agree with the sentiment that it should go to the best player on the best team.

It is an individual award and should go to the most outstanding player in the league regardless of the team's record. If that's Ejim, then so be it, and Wiggins will be the Big 12 freshman of the year or newcomer or whatever the title is.

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Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Wiggins should win because he is not only an excellent offensive player, he is far and away the best defender of the other players being considered for the award in Ejim, Kane, Staten and Smart. He shut down the best player on the opposition night after night after night.

I would honestly be PISSED if Smart even gets a vote for Big 12 POY. If the fact that he is so devoid of character that he assaulted a fan or that he is such a great player that his team barely made it to .500 in conference isn't taken into account then the award has lost all legitimacy in my opinion.

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Mick Allen 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Benz, I agree that Not So Smart should not get one vote for conference player of the year. He should run away with the "most disingenuous" player of the year award.

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Ian Emerson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Anyone that flops so blatantly to get calls should never win that award. But Benz i agree its not only Andrews offensive but Defense that will win him this award, hes a defensive staple on the guard spot.

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Titus Canby 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I'd vote for Smart as POY despite his suspension. He's the best of anyone in the conference in taking over a game. Look what happened to OSU when he was out, and their turnaround when he came back.

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Brianna Zaleski 5 months, 3 weeks ago

But how do you explain the in conference games before he was suspended?

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Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Oklahoma State lost five out of six games before Smart was suspended and was 4-6 in the Big 12 at that point. The only road games OSU has won were @TCU and @West Virginia by one point. He isn't deserving of POY and hasn't "taken over" any more games than Wiggins by a long shot.

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Jim Jackson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I think Joel stays. From what I understand his family financially stable. Sure hope I am right.

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Jack Wilson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Of all the players this season we played, it seemed like Juwan Staten of WVU was the most dominating. I looked at his stats -- 18.2 points per game, 5.9 rebounds per game, and 5.8 assists per game, and 1.2 steals per game. I'd say it would be a close call between he and Deadre Kane, 16.7, 6.7, 5.8, 1.3.

Compare to Wiggins: 16.0, 5.8, 1.6, 1.0. It is pretty glaring that Wiggins assists are so low. He literally never passes when he drives despite players being wide open. It happens every game when teams collapse on him when he drives. But the guy is just a freshman, a few months into a college career. This is an area that I think he would vastly improve on if he stayed in college.

Those are season stats, not Big 12. But in the Big 12 play, Staten is even better 19.7, 5.6, 5.5, 1.1; Kane 17.9, 6.2, 5.65, 1.5. Wiggins is 16.2, 6.1, 1.6, and 1.0.

In my view, it should be the top player on the top team, nor the player most valuable to his team. It should simply be the most outstanding player. Wiggins was clearly not the top player in the conference. Staten an Kane have good assist totals, way out distancing Wiggins, but nearly the same boards per game as guards; and more ppg.

In that regard, I'd go Staten #1 and Kane #2.

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Jonathan Allison 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Interesting call on Staten. I didn't look at any stats, I just mentioned Ejim, because the article talked about him as leading the league in pts and 2nd in boards. Plus he had the memorable 48 pt game.

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Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I'd give Staten "Offensive Player of the Year" if they had it, but I'd give conference POY to Wiggins since he plays both ends of the floor better than any other player in the conference.

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Jack Wilson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I have to admit, I haven't paid much attention to either player's defense. The defense item is a very good point.

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Rodney Crain 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I agree with Benz it should be judged on overall play not just stats on offense. Wiggins changed games with his defense while maintaining positive offensive output. He shut down other players that allowed his team to compete for the win. Any coach would take that two way performance. Smart, Staten and Kane who I like too just did not do that.

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Joe Ross 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Can Embiid, Alexander, and Turner all coexist in a Jayhawks uniform? Yes, and here's how. At all times, two of the three are on the court. You rotate the three of them in and out as they share playing time for two positions. At center, there are 40 minutes of game time available. At power forward, also 40 minutes (80 total). 80 divided by 3 is 27. Each player would then play 2/3 of all the available minutes. NO center or power forward on any team anywhere in the country plays all the available minutes. You expect time to rest. You expect that in some situations there will be times that the coach may decide you're not playing up to par and will sit you for a small stretch. It happens everywhere. Normal game situations see players sub in and out. There is no reason to think that there won't be enough minutes available. And if Kansas ever needed to go BIG? Watch out!

This would obviously be bad news for Landen Lucas, Hunter Mickelson and other bigs, but they would feature prominently in the beginning of the season while Cliff Alexander and Myles Turner adjust to the game, much in the same way that Tarik was a mentor and substitute for Embiid until he was ready for prime time. They are not therefore indispensable. Furthermore, the veteran's presence in practice would help the rookie's more closely approximate the level of skill they will be facing, and this will facilitate their maturation.

Ellis would get the lion's share of the time at small forward, split with Jamari Traylor. Oubre and Selden would share the two, and there would be a split of the point between Mason and Tharpe.

Odd men out? Andrew White, Connor Frankamp, and Brannen Greene. If necessary, banking on the freshmen to play less than this projection to fit Greene and Frankamp in isn't the worst of all possible worlds. Expecting that they will transition into the college game right away is a bit unrealistic. Having a year in the system under his belt before being heavily relied on surely helped Ben McLemore, and there are incoming freshmen who likely fit that prescription (if I were Coach Self I'd be selling it because it worked well for BMac AND they don't have to walk in feeling pressure). Kansas is among the top recruiting teams in the nation now and these are the kinds of problems you want to have. The bevy of talent almost forces some of the incoming guys into a two-year situation, and that's a good thing too.

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Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

If Perry Ellis is playing small forward, Kansas will lose a lot of games. There is no chance of that happening.

I admire the effort you put into this, but there is a 0.0% chance of Turner coming here if Embiid stays. I don't even WANT it to happen because that is a situation that has as much opportunity to turn into a problem with guys frustrated with their role as it has of being good. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

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Ron Franklin 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Absolutely no way Turner is here if Embiid stays. Your explanation is good one, but you are forgetting one of the biggest factors to likely play a role in the decision: EGO.

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Dirk Medema 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm hoping Turner joins Larry at SMU. Great Coach, and that would set up for a great team if only for a year.

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Beau Woolsey 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Turner is a great guy I met him at a Buffalo Wild Wings once very cool. His character is one I would like to see represent KU and his shot blocking and over all skill set would be a huge get for ku

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Brianna Zaleski 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Joe, I agree w you the majority of the time on here, but this theoretical scenario is so wrong. Ellis and Traylor split the 3? You're going to have two players that have never played the position, now playing there exclusively? Ellis will eventually transition to the 3, I'll give u that, but it will not be next year except for certain experimenting by Coach. Traylor will NEVER play the 3. He's brought off the bench to provide a spark, grab rebounds and block shots. Those are attributes that are best served in the paint, not on the wing. If Traylor ever ends up logging serious mins at the 3, it's time to start questioning Coach Self's senility.
B. Greene will be a pro. An NBA pro. Coach Self has said it and the eye test tells you he's got all the skills to exceed at this game for a long, long time. He will be getting serious mins next year and will not be an odd man out. I, for one, would be very disappointed if Self over recruited and Greene didn't see the floor next year. This kid will be special.
I hate projecting future lineups, but if my feelings hold true and only the AW's leave, then I believe here's what next year will look like. Of course it assumes that Turner goes elsewhere because Joel stays: 5-4: Jo, Cliff, Ellis, Traylor and Lucas 3: Ourbe, Ellis and Greene 2: Selden, Greene and CF 1: Tharpe, Mason and CF

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Dirk Medema 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm looking forward to Perry becoming more of a Robbie Hummel (Purdue vs TRob) flex 4, and really open things up with some 3's. He's becoming deadly from all over the court, and smart enough to exploit whatever is given to him.

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Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I'd rather see Ellis get better at the higher percentage shots and work on his explosive jumpiong ver the summer so he can finish like a guy his size should. Continue improvement on a mid range jumper would be nice, ut I really don't want to see Ellis take more than about 5-10 three pointers all year. We have shooters to do that; we need Perry to pound inside, draw fouls and hit high percentage shots at the rim.

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Mick Allen 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Benz, while I agree Ellis needs to work on his jumping ability and athleticism for next year, as far as this year and helping us go as far as we can, I would like to see Perry face up more and shoot the free throw line jumper more, especially against opponents with a big interior defense with shot blockers. When double teamed down low if he doesn't kick it out he inevitably tries to take it to the rack where often he gets it bitch slapped against rim protectors. Perry probably has as good a touch as any one on the team. By letting him face up from the free line this plays to one of his greatest strengths while benefitting Joel, Tarik and even Andrew by removing some of the congestion in the paint and making it more difficult for help defense to double the ball down low. It would benefit Andrew too on his takes to the rim by removing one defender from the lane. Andrew still needs to finish however.

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Jonathan Allison 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Agree 100%.

Perry needs to shoot the face up jumper more. Even if he misses one or two he shouldn't go away from it entirely. Most teams leave him open from 15 ft and out often. When they do step out and guard him he has shown how well he can drive passed the first defender. Too often he takes a drive to the basket and shoots a running or spinning hook shot and it gets blocked by a help defender. He needs to work on a pull up jump shot in the lane. Instead of spinning and shooting a hook shot while moving at the basket, just stop and pull up over the top of the defender who's momentum will be carrying him away from the shot attempt.

Perry has good touch on his jump shot. But he will likely not be a true perimeter player at KU because he shoots a set shot with no elevation and a slight forward push with his body. He will not be able to shoot a guarded jump shot over the top of a defender until he works on getting elevation on his jump shot or perhaps develops a good fadeaway shot.

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Mick Allen 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I agree Jonathan with your characterization of Perry's jumper. He shoots the ball without extending his arms and hands above his head. It is more of a push shot. In making my last comment that you are responding to, I was taking into account that if he faces up at the free throw line or slightly extended, he will get some open looks without a hand in his face, as his defender might be hesitant to come out on him quickly, at least until he hits a couple of jumpers. It also will help him taking it to the basket once he pulls his defender away. One of the very few players I recall who shot a contested jumper from in front of his face, was Danny Manning who had one of the quickest releases I have ever seen. You have described Perry's jumper very accurately.

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Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Hence my comment "Continue improvement on a mid range jumper would be nice".

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Aaron Paisley 5 months, 3 weeks ago

A big reason why the Marcus Morris was so dangerous on offense was because he was capable of knocking down the 3 with regularity when he was given enough space. That forced defenders to respect that shot and gave Marcus the ability to drive past defenders from the top of the key area. If Perry works on his 3 from the top of the key, he's quick enough to blow by defenders, but right now his 3 shot is almost non-existent so defenders can sag off him to keep him from driving.

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Dirk Medema 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Benz - Perry is shooting 54.3% from 2 and 53.8% from 3. It shouldn't take a lot of calculating to figure out where he is more effective, and just a quick scan shows that he is the top 3 pt shooter on the team. Obviously, he doesn't take as many as others, but that's sort of my point. He can stop when he starts making less than 50%? 45%? 40% from 3, though he would still be the best 3 pt shooter on the team at that point.

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Joe Ross 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Brianna. Respectfully written. Respectfully taken.

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Tony Bandle 5 months, 3 weeks ago

OAKVILLE ODDITIES:

1] From his tweets and what I've heard from folks at the game, it appears Myles Turner would happily help Jo Jo pack to move onto the NBA!!

2] I stand in the minority and when all is said and done, Jo Jo will move onto the draft...as far as know, no #1 lottery pick has EVER opted to stay at school. I know, I know..all of you can list a dozen legitimate reasons for Jo Jo to stay and I couldn't argue against any of them. I'm just telling you to be prepared for the inevitable.

3] No offense to Bill but I think Andrew deserves to be named Big 12 Freshman of the Year, not Big 12 MVP.....too many times, as a player with his talent level, he disappeared in games.

4] Turner, Alexander, Lucas, Traylor and Mikelson would make one hell of an offensive line! No wonder Charlie is at all the bball games. :).

5] Odds in Las Vegas for Bonnie coming back as KU coach next year currently set at 100:1. [well, if not, then it should be]

6] Rumor has it that there is a medical issue with Coach K that is being kept under wraps.

7] My personal hope is that Wayne chooses to stay another year. He has leadership oozing out of every pore and he could be the "captain" on the floor, similar to Russel Robinson.

8] Surprisingly, here in St.Louis, there seems to be a strong feeling that, all things being equal [no major injuries, teams playing to their potential, no bad luck,], the two schools most capable to getting to this season's Championship Game are Florida and Kansas!!

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Ron Franklin 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Gosh, I hope you are right on #8. I don't see the intestinal fortitude in our PG to get us out of the second weekend.

My expectations for the season were seven losses and a trip to the sweet sixteen. So, it's been great, but maybe there will be some icing to spread around for us, too.

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Dirk Medema 5 months, 3 weeks ago

1] Absolutely, and all the more reason for him to choose SMU when Jo decides to stay

2] tho yes I can understand if he chooses to leave

3] Jo for FotY, Andrew for PotY. It's not like other players don't have off games, we just don't track them, and doubting that any of the other candidates have dominated on D as Andrew has.

4] Replace Turner with Black, and find someone else to replace Hunter, the other lightweight, and totally agree after the necessary poundage. They're all still really lite by OL stds.

5] Yes

6] Hmmm, there was another time too?

7] Wayne absolutely is the leader of next year's team, and much as I loved RR, Wayne exceeds his low-key by a long shot.

8] Would be a fun rematch. What are the chances we get a sort of '88 path to the NC - matched up against a series of earlier in the season losses (KSU, Duke, OU = the last 3 L's & the last 3 W's in '88).

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Suzi Marshall 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Looks like the Hawks are nearly locked into StL for the second and third rounds, regardless of our region. Hope we can all meet at the rallies and pregame sites.

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Jonathan Allison 5 months, 3 weeks ago

2] I'm right with you on this one. If JoJo is still at KU next season, I will be pleasantly surprised. I know that he's different from the other #1 picks, but Bill Self usually says that he doesn't recommend anyone who's an NBA lottery pick to stay in school. The only lottery pick that I can think of under Bill Self who did stay in school an extra year was Cole Aldrich, and his stock fell after that. BRush doesn't count because he was a likely lotto pick as a soph until he tore his ACL.

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Dirk Medema 5 months, 3 weeks ago

2] #1 lottery pick opting to stay at school?

Do the Admiral and Duncan qualify? Sampson?

Sorry, going old school.

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Ron Franklin 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Of course, Bill is entitled to his opinion, and I'm entitled to mine.

The logic that the Big 12's Player has to come from the best team in the Big 12 is a farce.

There is an apparent vested interest in Wiggins receiving the award, and in general, I would rather see Hawks take all of the awards. But I'm also a realist.

The Big 12's best team is awarded the Big 12 Championshp. That is their award. You shouldn't automatically pick someone as the best player because they are on the best team. That is called an MVP. Not POY.

I would vote for Ejim as my POY.

The

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Dirk Medema 5 months, 3 weeks ago

The error is in interjecting the "has to" and "automatically" into the argument. Coach Self doesn't say that. He says when there otherwise is not a clear cut favorite. There is no Beasley, Griffin, ...

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Tony Bandle 5 months, 3 weeks ago

To continue Dirk's point include Kevin Durant...I didn't realize that the only two-time winner of the award was KU's Raef LaFrenz....something tells me the OAD rule has had a lot to do with that.

Since 1996, KU has had 7 POYs, although interestingly enough, during HCBS's 10 year Conference Championship Run, KU has only had 3 POY's......kind of an indicator of the Kansas team concept.

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Dirk Medema 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Wasn't '08 a case of not even getting anyone on the 1st team? Or just Rush on one version? Something like that?

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Aaron Millsap 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I'd love for Joel to stay. He's my favorite freshman in recent memory, but if he doesn't, let's make sure we show the love to Mr. Turner. Any other year, we'd be falling all over ourselves for a talent like that and probably should be right now. How does Embiid's back issues affect his decision. Is he thinking he should come back to show that he can dominate for an entire healthy season? Or is he thinking that it may be a chronic issue and he better go start getting a paycheck before his body breaks down, a la Greg Oden?

I'm a little pissy that HEM dropped in Staten before I got the chance. To me, Wiggins is the choice for Big IXI POTY. He's the best player, forget the best team. He's also by far the biggest name nationally. That will help his cause and ultimately he'll win the award. The Miltsteak Big IXI First Team All-Conference is as follows: Smart, Staten, Wiggins, Ejim, Embiid.

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Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

The ONLY reason that Kansas fans "don't want" Turner is because it means that we lost Embiid. Preferring a second year of Embiid over a first year of Turner is by no means a slight to Turner; most of us just don't want to be any part of turning the page on Embiid. We all hope he stays.

IF Embiid left, then Kansas fans would all support Turner 100% and be thrilled with his addition to the team. By all accounts he seems like a great player and fine young man. I am just not rooting to get him until I officially learn that we need him.

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Mick Allen 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Aaron I would go with that team with one exception. I would put Cain from ISU on there instead of not so Smart.

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Rich Hetherington 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I love Joel and Wayne, but I'd be ok with both of them leaving (and AWIII transferring), if no other reason than to prevent a log-jam next year. Basically from our main rotation, as it stands, you have Wiggins and Black leaving, but Robinson, Oubre and Mickelson coming in. If Embiid goes, you have to figure that Turner will come here, so we're still 1 player up on a rotation that was already crowded this year.

If Seldon goes, then we'll at least have roughly the same number of players next year as this year. I think AWIII should consider transferring, even though I'm a big fan, because he has the skills to play considerable time somewhere, and it's not going to be here.

If it all plays out like I'd like, you'll see Robinson take Blacks spot in the rotation with Greene and Oubre taking Wiggins' and Seldon's roles. You'll have Perry, Robinson, Mickelson, Lucas, Traylor and either Embiid or Turner for post minutes (which is going to be crowded no matter what, even if Embiid leaves and Turner doesn't come). You'll still have Tharpe and Mason to run the point and Frankamp to back them up as well as come in to give you an added 3 pt threat. That's a loaded lineup, even without Seldon, Wiggins or Embiid. Lot's of depth, lots of shooting ability and length. If Seldon stays, it would really diminish the minutes of Greene and Frankamp, not to say we couldn't use him, I just like good players to have a shot at some real PT!.

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Joe Baker 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Who's Robinson? Alex? Are you referring to Alex as Robinson?

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Rich Hetherington 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes, I don't know why I kept putting Robinson. For some reason Cliff Robinson kept coming up in my mind. Please replace all references to Robinson with Cliff Alexander and sorry for that. (Hides face)

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Beau Woolsey 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I think if Ellis dribbles into the paint he should look to pass to embiid more. KU would look better if we Ellis became a more stretch four. He isn't a guy who can bang in the post as well he gets blocked a lot. He can post up but his driving ability isn't there.

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Tony Bandle 5 months, 3 weeks ago

All of these discussions bring up an interesting point...can a team have too many good players???

My contention is NO because the true growth of a team over a season is on the practice floor and the more competitive the competition, the higher the standards are set for playing time.

Heck, if I was a coach I'd take 13 Mac All Americans...of course this could never happen based on the mindsets of the players today. Still, my point is the higher the level of competition in practice, the higher the quality of play in the game.

MY OBSERVATIONS:;

Player that most fulfilled reasonable expectations - Wiggins.[ note the word "reasonable"].

Player who least fulfilled reasonable expectations - AWIII.

Biggest surprise - Jo Jo's rapid development.

Whose presence are we going to miss the most - Tarik.

Who under-achieved expectations - Conner.

Whose the best bet is to play another year - Wayne.

Which player is the most frustrating - Naadir with Perry a close second.

Players I can't wait to see next year - Cliff and Hunter.

Player who will surprise us all by his improvement - Jamari.

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Dirk Medema 5 months, 3 weeks ago

'08 is the epitome of "too many good players"

A team can't, but having "too many" good players can get in the way of stats and the resultant media hype, which leads to awards.

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Jeff Kilgore 5 months, 3 weeks ago

The idea that Embiid stays is 100% wishful thinking, at least in my opinion. Hoiberg, Pitino, and others have called Joel, one of the best talents if not the best. The circumstances of his family and all are already well-understood. The biggest factor here is Self, and as much as he would be ecstatic to see Joel stay, it would weigh on his conscience if he didn't recommend him to leave.

All of your ideas about him staying are noble, (if not a bit self-serving, which I understand as a fan), but how could coach look Joel in the eyes and tell him to stay if he were to be offered more than $100,000,000? Would any of you? Is basketball the issue then? How could it be!

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Ryan Zimmerman 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Who gets paid $100 Million dollars to play basketball as a rookie? Or as a perennial all star for that matter?

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Jeff Kilgore 5 months, 3 weeks ago

The 29th highest NBA salary is Eric Gordon's $14,283,844. Multiply that times seven years. That's 100 million. Embiid stands to make at least this much. With endorsements?

source: http://hoopshype.com/salaries.htm

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Ryan Zimmerman 5 months, 3 weeks ago

you say Self couldn't look Joel in the eyes and tell him to stay if he were to be offered $100 million dollars... You're saying if he stays, he risks the chance of losing out on $100 million. No rookie is going into the NBA and getting that kind of money. Self isn't keeping him from "$100 million dollars". Anthony Davis got $16 million over three years...his rookie year. The highest from what i understand in history. That's a bit shy of $100 million. He leaves early, gets paid $15m over 3 years and flounders, that $100 million goal and being in the top 5% of the highest paid NBA All stars isn't going to happen.

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Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Self won't be TELLING him anything. Self is there to help gather information and to answer questions. The decision rests solely with Embiid and his family.

If I was a 7 footer (translation- getting drafted high even if I stink) with limited experience and strength but amazing skill and talent, I would stay in college for two more years. I would want to be ready to make an immediate impact from Day One so that when my rookie contract ended a team would be OK with paying me the maximum allowable contract. I would also be close to getting my degree just in case I blew out both knees in a horrible accident and couldn't play again. Sorry, but that rookie contract isn't getting me from age 19 to age 91.

Rookie contracts are chump change in the world of the NBA. It's the MAX contracts that set you for life.

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Rodney Crain 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Great post Benz. You are right on spot. I do not think Joel is going to like how he had to sit due to injuries, nor how that affected his progress. I think it is 50/50 on if he stays or not but if what he has been saying ties into how much he still has to learn, I think he comes back. It is about what he wants not pleasing anybody else.

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Ryan Zimmerman 5 months, 3 weeks ago

If Selden leaves, he'll get picked in the high 20s, play around 5 minutes a game and average 1.8 PPG on the year a la Cole Aldrich (yes I know he didn't leave after his Freshman year, but still, he wasn't NBA ready) If he stays and goes next year, i bet he's a top 15 pick and actually goes to a team where he'll play...

Same with Embiid... guy doesn't even have a drivers license. He needs to soak up US life for a year and get acclimated to it. Going in to the NBA naive and young, especially for a kid that is so new to everything in this country is a bad move

I don't think either are ready

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Ethan Berger 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I figure Selden is a lock for a twoyear player. From what I've seen, he is loving it and doesn't really have a good enough game to go top15. I'm thinking this back injury might help keep Joel. He wants to be an all time great and I think he wants to handle one issue at a time. I say 60% staying at this point. If they stay, we should be preseason 1. Tharpe, Selden, Oubre, Alexander, Embiid with Greene, Ellis, Frankamp,Mason I don't even know the starting 5. So many good options.

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John Fitzgerald 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I think Wiggins will stay and Frankamp will go pro. Called it!

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Beau Woolsey 5 months, 3 weeks ago

This NBA season has been an off one for many teams. Look for rookies to get a lot of PT even the ones drafted in the second round.

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Larry Ewart 5 months, 3 weeks ago

This team has trouble away from Allen and lacks intensity at times which spells doom in the tournament. We will likely make the sweet sixteen but after that it is up in the air it appears to me. Frankamp has showed a lot of weakness and should redshirt, get stronger so he can create his own shot, if not he will get a great education but will be recruited over in the next couple of years. AWIII, well, AW here pretty much sealed his fate to the bench. If he expects to get minutes he may have to transfer where ever his brother goes. Greene is a talent but needs to learn that the ball is precious and must learn to make good decisions while on the court. Alexander will be a force. We have a 7 footer (name fails me) that is red shirting who will be able to take up some slack next year. Just hope this team gets ready for the big stage!

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